The report, launched today (31 March) at the Connaught Hotel in London also states that despite the widespread pessimism of 12 months ago, business across all venue types actually increased during 2010.
The three venue types which benefitted most were independent hotels (up 37% on 2009), non-residential training venues (up 32% on 2009) and residential training centres (up 27% on 2009).
Further predictions for 2011 include continuing growth in the incentive travel market. This is being driven by client demand for ‘exclusive to the destination experiences’, according to the report.
Des McLaughlin, Grass Roots’ managing director, venue procurement said: "Other emerging trends include companies increasingly looking to better utilise their internal space for meetings, as well as a steady rise in the use of unusual venues, which for many is seen as a consequence of hotels failing to create innovative new products. At Grass Roots we have seen enquiries for venues that offer something different double since pre-recession levels and have noticed that one in ten new venues selling to the meetings market is categorising itself as an unusual venue, with no signs of their appeal waning in 2011. This being said, business for hotel groups and conference centres has also increased, which is likely to be as a result of companies reinstating their meeting budgets."
The report further reveals that nearly a fifth of respondent companies do not calculate return on investment on meetings spend and cost reduction is top of the agenda for nearly 80% of procurement professionals in the meetings and events arena.
The fifth annual Grass Roots Meetings Industry Report can be downloaded on request here.